An infection called leptospirosis, mainly affecting the liver and kidneys of an animal, was detected in the two remaining tigers — Deepak and Mani — at Ludhiana tiger safari due to which arrival of new tigers is not expected in near future.
Three tigresses — Shanti, Elaichi and Mohini — passed away last year, leaving behind two males, Deepak and Mani.
Talking to Newsline, Dhirendra Singh, Punjab chief wildlife warden, who accompanied Forest Minister Chunni Lal Bhagat on Monday to visit nurseries in Phillaur, said, “The traces of lepto were found in two remaining tigers at Ludhiana tiger safari and thus it is confirmed that till infection is wiped out, we cannot introduce new tigers.”
However, he said that Tiger Safari was not being affected due to less number of tigers. “Anyway we leave only one tiger in forest for visitors while the rest remain inside their cages. At the most, two were left in forest. Now both are left in safari alternately,” he added.
Singh said out of the three dead tigresses, two died because of old age and one had traces of lepto infection. “The treatment of Deepak and Mani is on from doctors of Chhatbir Zoo and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University. The infection levels have come down and soon it will be completely wiped out,” he said.
However, due to lack of funds, the master plan of Ludhiana Zoo is still unapproved. “This year’s budget of zoo is yet to be released. Fund shortage is there but it will be solved soon. New infrastructure will be developed before welcoming new tigers,” he added.